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Badal wants check dams on Ghaggar river

Chandigarh, July 19 (IANS) In a bid to prevent floods in the Ghaggar river in future, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to help construct check dams and embankments under a ‘national project’, an official said.

Badal has written a letter to the prime minister in this regard, the official spokesperson of state government said here Monday.

‘Controlling the water of the river is an inter-state issue therefore it should be declared a national project. Badal has apprised our prime minister that about 60 percent of flood water in this river was contributed by the catchment area of Haryana, causing havoc in various districts of Punjab,’ said the spokesperson.

‘It is necessary to channelise the river in order to increase its capacity to 50,000 cusec. The cost for this in Punjab territory would be around Rs.1,175 crore and would require construction of embankments, other flood protection works and remodelling of cross drainage works across the Ghaggar in Punjab and Haryana,’ said the spokesperson.

He added that it was necessary to construct check dams on the Ghaggar and its tributaries, mainly the Markanda and the Tangri.

The water stored in these proposed reservoirs could be utilised for irrigation and drinking purposes.

The recent floods have affected nearly a dozen districts of Punjab and Haryana and have claimed at least 51 lives in the two states.

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